The idea behind ecosystem services is a simple one. We all depend on our environment for life, but this dependency has been not valued highly enough. This means that we have been prepared to sacrifice vital aspects of our environment in favour of more tangible economic benefits. The term ' ecosystem services' is meant to embace those aspects of the environment that we need, whether paid for or not. A global programme, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, showed that many of these services were being undermined. Soils were being degraded, the regulation of our climate is under threat, and the cultural links between people and our environment are being undermined. These pages explore my work to try to provide evidence that shows the importance of ecosystem services, and how they may be influenced by different policies and practices.